South African citrus: U.S. could lift port restrictions - FreshFruitPortal.com

USDA proposes opening all ports of entry to South African citrus

U.S. authorities have proposed lifting restrictions on the ports of entry that can be used for imports of South African citrus.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared and is accepting comments on a commodity import evaluation document (CIED).

"Based on the findings of the CIED, APHIS experts determined that grapefruit, lemon, mandarin orange, sweet orange, tangelo, and Satsuma mandarin fruit from South Africa may be imported into the United States without restrictions on the ports of entry," the USDA said in an announcement.

"Currently, fresh citrus from South Africa must be cold treated and imports are restricted to Newark, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Wilmington, DE, and Houston, TX due to the presence of false codling moth in South Africa."

The USDA said APHIS conducted "enhanced inspections" for false codling moth on South African citrus at the four authorized ports over a two-year period.  

"During that time, more than 2,000 shipments of citrus were imported with no detections of live false codling moth," it said.

"As a result we are proposing to remove the port restrictions and authorize the importation of citrus from South Africa into all ports of entry in the United States."

You may view the CIED in the Federal Register when it is published here on April 1, 2020 and submit comments until June 1, 2020, 60 days after the publication date.

After reviewing the comments, APHIS will announce its decision.